A urinary biosignature for mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke like episodes (MELAS)
Lindeque, J. Zander
Van der Westhuizen, Francois H.
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We used a comprehensive metabolomics approach to study the altered urinary metabolome of two mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy lactic acidosis and stroke like episodes (MELAS) cohorts carrying the m.3243A>G mutation. The first cohort were used in an exploratory phase, identifying 36 metabolites that were significantly perturbed by the disease. During the second phase, the 36 selected metabolites were able to separate a validation cohort of MELAS patients completely from their respective control group, suggesting usefulness of these 36 markers as a diagnostic set. Many of the 36 perturbed metabolites could be linked to an altered redox state, fatty acid catabolism and one-carbon metabolism. However, our evidence indicates that, of all the metabolic perturbations caused by MELAS, stalled fatty acid oxidation prevailed as being particularly disturbed. The strength of our study was the utilization of five different analytical platforms to generate the robust metabolomics data reported here. We show that urine may be a useful source for disease-specific metabolomics data, linking, amongst others, altered one-carbon metabolism to MELAS. The results reported here are important in our understanding of MELAS and might lead to better treatment options for the disease